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Multi-million pound investment at Shrewsbury vineyard to create 20 new jobs

By James Pugh | Shrewsbury | Business Picks | Published:

A multi-million pound investment into a family-run vineyard will lead to the creation of about 20 new jobs.

Mark Stevens with father Andy at rapidly expanding Hencote Vineyard Estate

Hencote Vineyard Estate, near Shrewsbury, is expanding its operation over the next few months to offer new wine experiences, dining and accommodation.

A new winery, restaurant and shop will open on the 60-acre hilltop estate in September.

Meanwhile, new luxury vineyard lodges featuring underfloor heating, wood burning fires, fully fitted and plumbed-in kitchens and bathrooms with a bath and shower are also being created.

Benefitting from an elevated and picturesque location just one mile from Shrewsbury’s town centre, the estate offers guests panoramic views across the historic town, towards the hills of Wenlock Edge and Long Mynd in the distance.

Opening in early September will be a light and airy new restaurant, featuring open fire cooking and a large terrace that overlooks the 17-acre vineyard.

A wine bar will be used for wine tasting experiences and as an event space for private hire.

The family planted the first vines in 2015 and currently employ about eight full-time and part-time people.

Owner Andy Stevens said: “We look forward to welcoming visitors to our wonderful new facilities and sharing our passion for British wine making. It’s going to offer a relaxing and interesting attraction for local people to enjoy.

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"We want to bring everything together in the right formula. Once we have expanded, numbers of employees will swell."

As a working vineyard, visitors can enjoy private and group wine tours. General manager, Mark Stevens, guides visitors through the process from vine to bottle, walking through the vineyard and finishing in the new winery to learn more about the production process and to sample some of their wines.

During harvest season, guests are welcome to join in with the picking of grapes for production and immerse themselves in the early stage of the winemaking process to learn more. The estate currently nurtures Seyval Blanc, Pinot Noir Precoce, Pinot Meunier, Chardonnay, and Solaris vines.

Mark said once fully operational, and dependant on the weather, they hope to create about 25,000 to 30,000 bottles of eight to 12 different still and sparkling wines a year.

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He said: "The general perception of British wine has been that it is not very good. We want to change that perception. When people have tried British wine I think they have been surprised at how good it is and we want to help increase the growing reputation of it."

In addition to the vineyard glamping, Hencote has ‘The Grange’, a resorted Georgian farmhouse that can accommodate up to 12 guests.

To learn more about Hencote and the plans in place, visit hencote.com

James Pugh

By James Pugh
@JamesP_Star

Shropshire Star Business and Farming Editor.

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